November 19, 2020

Distributed Hierarchical File Systems strike back in the Cloud

HopsFS-CL is a highly available distributed hierarchical file system with native support for AZ awareness using synchronous replication protocols.


Mahmoud Ismail, Salman Niazi, Mauritz Sundell, Mikael Ronstrom, Seif Haridi, and Jim Dowling
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Cloud service providers have aligned on availability zones as an important unit of failure and replication for storage systems. An availability zone (AZ) has independent power, networking, and cooling systems and consists of one or more data centers. Multiple AZs in close geographic proximity form a region that can support replicated low latency storage services that can survive the failure of one or more AZs. Recent reductions in inter-AZ latency have made synchronous replication protocols increasingly viable, instead of traditional quorum-based replication protocols. We introduce HopsFS-CL, a distributed hierarchical file system with support for high- availability (HA) across AZs, backed by AZ-aware synchronously replicated metadata and AZ-aware block replication. HopsFS-CL is a redesign of HopsFS, a version of HDFS with distributed metadata, and its design involved making replication protocols and block placement protocols AZ-aware at all layers of its stack: the metadata serving, the metadata storage, and block storage layers. In experiments on a real-world workload from Spotify, we show that HopsFS-CL, deployed in HA mode over 3 AZs, reaches 1.66 million ops/s, and has similar performance to HopsFS when deployed in a single AZ, while preserving the same semantics.
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